MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE COHOES HISTORIC PRESERVATION ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD HELD IN THE COMMON COUNCIL CHAMBER ON
June 17, 2008 AT 6:30 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Ms. Barbara Hildreth, Vice Chairperson
Mr. Tor Shekerjian
Ms. Daniele Cherniak
Mr. Herbert Hyde
ALSO PRESENT: Melissa Ashline-Heil, City Planner
ABSENT: Ms. Lynne Allard, Chairperson
Acting Chair Barbara Hildreth called the meeting to order at 6:30 P.M.
CONSIDERATION OF MAY 20, 2008 MEETING MINUTES
Daniele requested that the phrase “and current pump station” be deleted from the Discussion of Harmony Mills section of the minutes. Daniele then moved to approve the minutes conditioned on that amendment. Tor seconded the motion and the Board approved the minutes unanimously.
CONSIDERATION OF AN APPLICATION FOR A SIGN AT 130 REMSEN ST
Barbara explained that the next agenda item would provide signage for a new coffee shop and bakery with live music. Herb asked when the owner planned to open the coffee shop. Barbara answered August 15th.
Barbara indicated that whether the sign would be level with Rizzo’s sign next door might affect her decision to support the application. Herb pointed out that it might not be physically possible to raise the sign due to the face of the building. Pictures submitted show rough stone alternating with smooth stone. The applicant circled a smooth stone surface as the sign’s placement. Tor added that staggered sign placement would allow passersby to better see the signs.
Tor and Daniele questioned the sign material, which the applicant did not describe in writing. Barbara passed the sample around to the other members. Members described it as composite foam that could be shaped, as shown in the drawings submitted.
Herb moved to approve the sign. Daniele amended and seconded the motion to ensure that a written description of the sign material would be added to the COA. The Board unanimously approved the request with the amendment.
CONSIDERATION OF HISTORIC TAX EXEMPTION FOR 20 WHITE STREET
The owner applied for and was rejected by the current assessor for a Historic Tax Exemption because the exemption requires a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) application from the HPARB. The former assessor did not inform the applicant of the requirement to submit and receive approval from the Historic Preservation Commission for a COA application prior to commencing his work.
The state Real Property application for partial tax exemption application requires that the Board approve the project prior to construction. Last month, Tor moved to table the agenda item with the caveat that Ed and Melissa would obtain a letter from the Mayor (explaining why the Board would review the COA application after construction was completed) along with a complete COA application. If this information was available, for the June meeting, the Board would consider whether to approve the COA.
A series of e-mails prior to the June HPARB meeting explained that the Board would be reviewing the interior work completed by owner Denis Klapija. The applicant did not submit any additional paperwork or pictures. The Board agreed to table the review until they received pictures and materials. Herb pointed out the approval may be time sensitive. The Board agreed to reconvene prior to next month’s meeting if a complete COA application was made available for review and if the tax exemption was time sensitive; otherwise the COA application would be reviewed at the July meeting if complete information for review is provided.
Daniele indicated that she saw more satellite dishes along Vliet, Mohawk and Canvass Streets. The City Planner said that she would send the earlier letter used for properties with satellite dishes on Garner Street. Should the letter fail to prompt removal, Code Enforcement would issue warnings.
The City Planner advised that Brookfield Power will submit a plan for removal of the tree on the Conboy Avenue Bridge. Herb stated that the wall of the Erie Canal behind his house was falling into disrepair and should be restored. Daniele noted that this site was not included in the sites of the enlarged Erie Canal designated as city landmarks, and suggested that the Board work toward recommending that this site and those on North Erie Street be included in this landmark listing order to protect them.
Board members questioned the status of the picker house and whether the owner is taking steps to repair the building. The City Planner advised that the owner is working with SHPO.
Barbara questioned whether the Block House is in Colonie or Cohoes. Tor confirmed it is in Colonie.
Herb moved to adjourn at 6:55pm. Tor seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously to adjourn.